group, player, coach, appointment… everything about the team

Calendar (French time)

22 November: France-Australia, at the Al-Janoub stadium (8 pm, TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)

26 November: France-Denmark, at Stade 974 (5 pm, TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)

30 November: France-Tunisia, at the Education City stadium (4 pm, TF1 and BeIN Sports 1)

Their nickname. Blues. Like all French teams, the football team’s nickname is inspired by their (home) shirt.

The group of 26

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda.

Defenders: Axel Disasi, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konaté, Jules Koundé, Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Raphaël Varane.

Environments : Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Mattéo Guendouzi, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Jordan Veretout.

Forwards: Karim Benzema, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Randal Kolo Muani, Marcus Thuram.

Qatar better than ever. After “took the cup home” in 2018, twenty years after winning it at home, the Blues are aiming for a third world title, their sixteenth participation in the tournament.

The selector. Didier Deschamps, 54 years old. The third footballer in history to win the trophy as a player and then as a coach (after Franz Beckenbauer and Mario Zagallo), the Basque is approaching his third World Cup at the helm of the Blues. Long disparaged for the sometimes cold play of his teams, the pragmatic Didier Deschamps has undergone a tactical transformation for some time to suit his manpower. No conclusive results so far. “The very high level requires maximum requirements”, recalled the French coach less than two months before the start of the World Cup. Extremely demanding, the former captain of the 1998 world champions aspires to once again lead his team to the top of the world, something no country has achieved since Brazil’s double in 1958 and 1962.

Summary note from the Le Monde office

The strong points. France deploys an attack that makes the mouths of the entire world water. With, as locomotives, the recent Ballon d’Or winners Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé, two of the best players on the planet, without forgetting the always indispensable Antoine Griezmann, and the gunners Kingsley Coman or Ousmane Dembélé. Let’s add Olivier Giroud, now comfortable on the bench and two goals from becoming the top scorer in the history of the selection, the Blues are not without controversy, as long as the sauce holds, and the clouds of injuries that hover over the year 2022 of the French are moving away.

France forward Kylian Mbappé celebrates the goal he just scored during a Nations League match between France and Austria, at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis on September 22, 2022.

The weak points. A corollary, no doubt, of their more attacking play than in the past, the French defense can sometimes feel unbalanced. And, from Hugo Lloris in the cages to Raphaël Varane or Lucas Hernandez, no starter considered for the French squad’s rear has experienced a 2022 year free of air pockets – injuries or deformities. In all competitions won, France started with an iron defence. And a good performance against Denmark. As in 1984, 1998, 2000 and 2018, the Blues will face the Danish Dynamites in the group stage in Doha. But the French remain struggling with two defeats against Scandinavian opponents this year.

Company score (out of 5): 4.5. Reigning world champions, France have the resources to excel in Qatar. Among the big favorites of the tournament, Kylian Mbappé’s teammates can believe in a good run, provided they rediscover the solidity that led them to the title in 2018.

Keep an eye on it. What if it’s the right one? Called up for the last two international competitions, and official “ambiencer” of the Blues in 2018 (with Presnel Kimpembe), Ousmane Dembele so far he has never shone in the tricolor jersey. Capable of flashes, but dutifully chastised for his inconsistency by Didier Deschamps, the ambidextrous FC Barcelona striker has been reborn since the end of last season. After several years marred by injuries, a questionable lifestyle and a six-month soap opera on his Barça contract, ‘Dembouz’ is back. “I want to be a player in the World Cup”, the player said in late September. The Blues will need the former Rennais who, at 25, is finally playing in the top flight.

Imagine Arsene… that France has already played a World Cup match wearing a green and white striped shirt. It was 1978, during the (already) highly controversial Argentine World Cup. Opponents in the last match of the group stage and already eliminated, Hungary and France realized during the warm-up that they were both wearing white shirts. Due to a French steward, who had not taken into account a fax from FIFA ordering the Blues to play in blue, the latter were almost unable to play the game. The blue shirts remain in Buenos Aires – hundreds of kilometers from Mar del Plata – Michel Platini’s teammates have evolved with the uniform unearthed in an emergency: that of a local amateur club, CA Kimberley.

Quiz

If you have decided to boycott…

This is an exhibition that will make you travel without going to Doha. Since the end of October, the Musée d’arts de Nantes has been paying homage to train travel. Almost two hundred years after the appearance of the first locomotives, the railway adventure is told through the meter of painting. Monet, Van Gogh, Tissot, Dali and others have witnessed the excitement and criticism this major technological development aroused.

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